Musahar (Hindu traditions) in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Subgroups: 1

Subgroup Name Population
Kharwar 2,400

Introduction / History

The Musahar are considered one of the lowest of the Dalit groups within India and suffer tremendously from their status in society. Their name is derived from two words meaning "rat catcher" and is likely attributed to them for their tendency to eat rodents in times of dire need. They are short in stature with a long narrow headshape and broad nasal features.

The Musahar are called “Maha-Dalits” meaning lower than Dalits which puts the Musahar at the very lowest stratum of Indian society. The Musahar are not caste-Hindus, but are from Animistic Hinduism or Popular Hinduism.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Numbering two million mostly in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh they have large families and live with several generations in the same household. A Musahar village is almost always filled with children. Though they will frequently speak Hindi, the local trade language, they will speak Angika or Awadhi at home.

Land ownership is rare and most will work as agricultural laborers, day laborers or forest and fishing. The women also work in agriculture or other unskilled labor such as stitching leaf-plates.

Education is not valued and literacy is extremely low with literacy rates running 2-6%. Often times they will drop out at the primary level due to social or economic factors. Modern development programs have had little impact on them as few if any of the sparsely allocated resources designated for them ever reach them in their need. Many times their wages are paid in crops and they trade in the market place through barter.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Musahar are very receptive to the gospel and a move of Christ is beginning among them. A significant number of Musahar are following Christ and village house churches are being formed with Musahar leadership. A network of agencies and churches are working among the Musahar. The Musahar are in the process of being reached.

Traditionally they follow their tribal faith and will worship their family deity and the village deity, as well as the gods of the wider Hindu faith.


What Are Their Needs?

Due their extreme poverty they live far from towns and cities which have proper health care. Nor do they have the capacity to travel to avail themselves of these facilities. The result is a desperate health care situation. Child mortality and maternal mortality are high and the life span is short which is exacerbated by high rates of alcoholism among the male population.

Much of their condition is a result of their low position in the caste hierarchy. They are considered as having low status and treated with disdain by all other sections of society. Any attempts at economic advancement will be taken away from them or destroyed and they have little or no capacity to retain property rights. Their constitutional rights of education and food subsidies are routinely denied through corruption and caste based policies. They are powerless and voiceless, unable to change their situation alone. Sadly many Musahar women are kidnapped or sold into prostitution in the major metropolitan cities. Without recourse this becomes their new life, oppressed, abused and forced to suffer in silence.


Prayer Points

Scripture Prayers for the Musahar (Hindu traditions) in India.


Profile Source:   GSCC, SD Ponraj  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-09-15
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-08-28
Global Prayer Digest: 2020-02-09
Global Prayer Digest: 2020-08-31
People Name General Musahar (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Musahar (Hindu traditions)
Pronunciation MOO-sah-har
Population this Country 3,711,000
Population all Countries 3,996,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 3  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 74
Alternate Names Banmanus; Banraja; Bhuiya; Gaur; Gonr; Maha-Dalits; Musahar Bhuiya; Mushar; Mushr; Palamau Bhuiya; मुसहर (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
People ID 17711
ROP3 Code 113160
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 12
Largest States
Bihar
3,210,000
Uttar Pradesh
305,000
Assam
77,000
Jharkhand
63,000
West Bengal
25,000
Uttarakhand
800
Andaman and Nicobar
800
Manipur
700
Tripura
400
Arunachal Pradesh
90
Chandigarh
70
Odisha
70
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 12
  Bihar 3,210,000
  Uttar Pradesh 305,000
  Assam 77,000
  Jharkhand 63,000
  West Bengal 25,000
  Uttarakhand 800
  Andaman and Nicobar 800
  Manipur 700
  Tripura 400
  Arunachal Pradesh 90
  Chandigarh 70
  Odisha 70
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Hindi (1,608,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 16
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Maithili
665,000
Bhojpuri
422,000
Magahi
230,000
Angika
102,000
Bengali
52,000
Assamese
37,000
Sadri
6,400
Surjapuri
4,000
Bagheli
2,000
Awadhi
700
Kumaoni
300
Bundeli
200
Kanauji
100
Garhwali
100
Sadri, Oraon
30
Primary Language Hindi (1,608,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 16
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Maithili 665,000
  Bhojpuri 422,000
  Magahi 230,000
  Angika 102,000
  Bengali 52,000
  Assamese 37,000
  Sadri 6,400
  Surjapuri 4,000
  Bagheli 2,000
  Awadhi 700
  Kumaoni 300
  Bundeli 200
  Kanauji 100
  Garhwali 100
  Sadri, Oraon 30
People Groups Speaking Hindi

Primary Language:  Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1806-1962)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1835-2019)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, Old Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video A Beautiful Hope (EngSub)
Film / Video Coconuts
Film / Video Creation to Christ
Film / Video Following Jesus video
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hindi
Film / Video Love letter to you from scripture
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.08 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.27 %)
0.27 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.63 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.01 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source GSCC, SD Ponraj  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more